Spain – Group B – Overview and Spain betting tips
Spain are unsurprisingly one of the favourites for the 2018 World Cup, with the side boasting a host of quality players from some of the biggest clubs in the world, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Here at OpenOdds, we are committed to ensuring you get all the information you need on Spain ahead of the tournament in Russia. We will cover how they qualified, their star men, a look at the manager and also the Spain betting odds for those of you that like a flutter.
Having won the World Cup in 2010, many Spaniards will feel they have what it takes to lift the prestigious trophy again in the coming months.
Spain prediction: How well will they do?
As mentioned, Spain will be one of the favourites to win the World Cup purely for the depth and quality they have in the side.
However, you have to say that they haven’t been handed the easiest group – in fact, it couldn’t have got much worse. Their main rivals to the top spot will be a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal, the current European champions.
As well as that, Morocco will present a stern test with their tough defence that helped them through the CAF qualifying, whilst Iran are similarly resilient and impressed greatly in their AFC campaign.
Yet, you can’t get away from the fact that Spain will justifiably be favourites for the group, although given they are priced as odds-on to top Group B, it isn’t really worth recommending for the punters. The one major positive for Spain is their pathway to the latter stages.
Whoever wins their group will come up against the runner up of Group A which contains Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.
The South Americans will probably be expected to top the group, which could leave Spain with a potential game against Russia in the last 16.
Whilst they would have home advantage, the reality is that they aren’t a patch on Spain in terms of quality. Even if they did end up with Uruguay, you would expect Spain to advance to the last eight with little trouble – simply because their squad is outstanding.
They boast arguably the best keeper in the world in David De Gea and have a flawless defence. In midfield, they have a list of players that is incomparable to most other countries and that is where they will dominate. Up top, Julen Lopetegui is also blessed with several in-form strikers to choose from.
Given that, Spain have to be strongly considered by any punter when they are looking at the outright markets. They are currently a best priced 7/1 with Unibet which is very appealing given the class and strength in depth they have.
Best Odds Available at Unibet
Journey to the World Cup — Who did Spain beat to qualify?
Spain didn’t have it easy when it came to the draw for qualifying for the World Cup. With only one side guaranteed to automatically make it, they will have been disappointed to have landed Italy in their group, with Israel, Albania and Macedonia solid opponents, whilst Lichtenstein made up the numbers.
However, they made very easy work of such a group, showing a remarkable consistency in winning nine and drawing just one of the ten games. The two points that they did drop came in Italy too, which is perfectly understandable.
During the UEFA qualifying process, they conceded just three goals and the 3-0 win over Italy in Madrid was a real statement of intent.
They dominated the Italians from start to finish in what was a very high pressure game, with Isco the matchwinner that night.
Since then, they’ve continued to improve and a 6-1 thrashing of Argentina in a recent friendly shows just how ruthless this side can be.
Best players for Spain: Who should you be betting on?
There are many top-class players with Spain, none more so than the keeper – David De Gea. He has once again been outstanding for Manchester United and if he takes that form into the World Cup, then opposition strikers are going to find it tough.
Defensively, despite their club rivalry, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos form a formidable partnership, however it’s further forward that will really excite Spanish fans.
Their midfield is insane, with Sergio Busquets sure to be pulling the strings from deep. Ahead of him, Andres Iniesta, the hero from 2010 will want to end his international career on a high, whilst Isco, Thiago and David Silva are among the talented options Lopetegui has to choose from.
The biggest selection dilemma will be up front and it makes picking a top scorer for Spain a tricky ask.
Alvaro Morata, Rodrigo, Iago Aspas and Diego Costa are likely to be the four options, with Alvaro Morata favourite in the betting which suggests they think he will get the nod.
It’s understandable given the way he has played for Spain this year under Lopetegui and he may show loyalty to the player but in terms of club football, he is struggling more than the others.
Yet, whoever leads this Spain attack is sure to get so many chances and they are likely to make it to the latter stages, so Morata at 25/1 is a good bet if he starts the game, with Costa at 33/1 another to consider if he is picked.
Best Odds Available at 10Bet
Who manages Spain?
Despite the high-profile nature of the squad, they have a manager that many football fans may not be familiar with.
However, Julen Lopetegui has been part of the national team set up for years in the past, guiding the U19s and U21s to success in their own age group.
Yet, after quitting the U21s he left for Porto and failed to make a positive impact there, so it was still a brave move from those making the decision to go for the 54-year old, although it seems to be a decision that is paying off.
Lopetegui encourages a passing and attacking style and it has gone down very well with the team so far.
His lack of experience at the top level may be seen as a hindrance ahead of the biggest competition in world football, however he will feel confident that both he and the players will make a big impression in Russia.
Why bet on Spain?
The main reason for anyone to bet on Spain is the quality of the squad. If injuries hit, suspensions or a loss of form, they have quality to come in. That will also create a fierce competition for places that will only drive each other on.
Another factor to consider is the mentality and experience of the players. Several players in the current squad won the World Cup and/or Euro 2012, so they know what it takes to deliver in these tournaments.
Additionally, the nucleus of their squad is made up of players who play for the biggest clubs in Europe in huge games, so they won’t be fazed by the importance of this tournament.
The one downside is the tough group that they’ve been given but ultimately the Spain World Cup 2018 team are the best side out of the four and at 6/1 look a very fair price to lift the trophy for a second time.
Best Odds Available at William Hill